PUNE: After Pune, it could be destination Nashik for industry as Pune is fast running out of land. The vigorous land acuisition by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and private industry here is soon going to ensure this.

Sources said that the state government’s industrial infrastructure development arm is looking to create a land bank of between 10,000-20,000 hectares in the two cities, Pune and Nashik, with emphasis on the latter.

However, the attraction of destination Pune remains. MIDC is looking to acquire land for which notifications have been issued at Ranjangaon, Talegaon, Chakan, Karla and Khed.

The state government is believed to have received 1800 applications for the Chakan industrial area, 1100 for Ranjangaon and 600 for Talegaon. The land bank with the MIDC, Pune region, is close to being exhausted and it is facing problems in acquiring new land.

Industry experts think Nashik will prove to be the alternative to Pune. “Nashik, with it’s huge land availability, abudant water supply and connectivity with Mumbai offers ideal locations. It has got mild climate like Pune too,” sources said.
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  • MIDC to start land allotment in Dindori industrial estate soon Tushar Pawar | Jan 25, 2019, 22:08 IST

    Nashik: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) on Friday said the land allotment for new industrial estate at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori will begin online within a week.

    This development assumes significance as there is no land available in the district for new industries owing to which no new large industrial investment came to Nashik in the past decade.

    The new industrial estate, which is 18-km away from the city, is spread on 550 acre of land. Industries had been demanding for the past two years to start land allotment there.

    “The land allotment for the new industrial estate at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori taluka will begin online within a week. Earlier, land was a major issue for growth of industrial sector. But opening of this new industrial estate will provided much needed boost to the industrial sector of Nashik,” Abhishek Krishna, joint CEO of MIDC, said.

    Krishna was in Nashik on Friday for a meeting with industrialists to inform them about the initiatives being taken by the MIDC for the industries.

    During the meeting, industrialists urged him to reduce the rates of industrial plots at Dindori and informed that the rate quoted by the MIDC for this new industrial estate is high.

    Replying to the land rate issue, Krishna said, “The MIDC has quoted a rate of Rs3,000 per sqmt for industrial plots at Talegaon-Akrale. The rates are low as compared to the rates in the city. The rates of industrial plots in other states like Rajasthan are two to three times higher as compared to Maharashtra.”

    Krishna also said that the MIDC is in the process of acquisition of land at Sinnar and it is expected to be completed within the next four-five months.

    “We are also reducing the rates of industrial plots for the second phase at Sayane in Malegaon. We are also developing new industrial estate at Ajang, which is expected to be ready within the next six months. These new industrial estates will meet the land requirement of industries to some extent,” said Krishna.


  • PWD constructs 11-km green road at Kalwan Abhilash Botekar | TNN | Jan 29, 2019, 11:57 IST

    PWD constructs 11-km green road at Kalwan

    NASHIK: The Nashik unit of public works department (PWD) has completed the 11-km-road in Kalwan taluka of Nashik district by using new technology that cuts down construction time of road, the dependency on metal required for the base and increases it durability.

    “This road is termed as green road as it recycles the material in the site and using the base sealing technology with the help of a liquid it turns the soil hard such that it can withstand sufficient loads required by the kind of traffic witnessed by the state highways,” superintendent engineer of PWD (Nashik) Ranjeet Hande said.

    This is the first-of-its-kind green technology that is being used in the construction of road by the PWD in the state. “The conventional process of road construction is lengthy when compared to the duration required by this new system. At the same time this construction cuts down on the use metal that comes at the cost of digging up the mountains,” the official said.

    Explaining the technique, the officer said the activity was completely mechanized, requiring minimum labour.

    While the first truck sprayed cement particles on the road (soil) to be constructed, the digger and mixer machine dug up the soil and thoroughly mixed it with concrete and a fluid that creates a strong binding material.

    After this, the compacting machine takes charge of the road. This is followed by water sprinkler machine before the road is compacted couple of times. After almost 24 hours of compacting and watering, final coat of asphalt is spread on the road.

    “As against the conventional system of construction of the road in over 45 days – that required digging, watering, compacting, using metal, again compacting and carrying out other things. The machine constructs and clears the road for traffic in little over 48 hours,” the official said.

    He further pointed out that the strength of the road is higher than those constructed by conventional method and grows up to 80 times stronger as the binding gets older.

    “This is base-seal technology which gives a very hard surface on which the carpet (asphalt) is spread. The technology is termed green as it uses everything available in the area except for the concrete and the fluid which is required to be mixed with the soil,” the official said.

    He added that the constructed road has now been opened for traffic and is being monitored thoroughly for some period to find out the results of using the technology.

  • Smart city corporation staring at additional burden of Rs 160 crore Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Feb 2, 2019, 10:24 IST

    The stretch from Ashok Stambh to Trimbak Naka is being developed as a smart road. (File photo)

    NASHIK: The Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (NMSCDCL) is in financial straits as besides facing a deficit of Rs 144 crore, the cost of two tenders has significantly increased, taking the total financial burden of the corporation to more than Rs 300 crore.

    Chairman of NMSCDCL Sitaram Kunte told reporters on Friday that the smart city officials were trying to find out solutions to overcome the deficit and exploring alternatives to meet the cost escalation.

    Kunte was in the city for a review meeting of the smart city projects, more importantly to get details of certain projects ahead of the board meeting that will be held soon.

    Municipal commissioner Radhakrishna Game, Nashik Smart City Corporation's chief executive officer Prakash Thavil, officials of Nashik Municipal Corporation(NMC) and the Smart City cell were present for the deliberation.

    "There are two tenders which had to be discussed-area based development (ABD) project and Godavari Riverfront project. For ABD project, the contractor quoted 60% more than the tender cost. The contractor for Godavari Riverfront development has quoted 38% more than the tender cost. We discussed many technical points in these tenders," said Kunte adding that they were analysing why the cost was more than that mentioned in the tender.

    "We have not finalised anything. We need more details for arriving at a solution. We are analysing for which items has the bidder quoted a higher price and if their calculations are wrong. We had estimated the costs as per district schedule rates (DSR). We took quotation for items that are not on DSR. We are seeking the contractor's opinion," said Kunte.

    Talking about the financial hitches, the chairman of the smart city corporation said, "The total cost of smart city project is Rs 1084 crore. Funding from the central and state governments is to the tune of Rs 940 crore. We have a deficit of Rs 144 crore. Due to higher bid for the two projects, the cost of the tenders increased by Rs 160 crore. Overall, there is a cost escalation than what we had estimated."

    "We are discussing ways of how to overcome the deficit. In some cities, bonds of municipal corporations have been opened for smart city projects. We have to study the bond rating of Nashik. We are also exploring the possibility of getting funds from NMC. The municipal commissioner has to see if surplus funds are there for smart city projects," said Kunte adding that they would invite tenders again for the two projects only if there was a need.

    He also reviewed the town planning scheme of the Greenfield development project and the Smart Road. "We are trying to replicate successful models of town planning scheme. Town planners of smart city are finding solutions. We may settle for negotiations with farmers," said Kunte.

    Talking about the smart road project, he said that the contractor was not being monitored properly by the officials.

    "Notices are being served to the contractor for delaying the works of the smart road. Fines will also be imposed. For the second phase of the road, a daily programme will be given to him so that it gets completed by March 31. We want to complete it before the elections as the district collector's office falls on the smart road," Kunte added.


  • MSEDCL gets Rs 1 crore for laying underground cable along smart road Abhilash Botekar | TNN | Feb 2, 2019, 10:26 IST

    Representative image

    NASHIK: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has received Rs1.10 crore for laying underground cable for the smart city project being carried out across the city.

    The work of laying underground cable from Ashok Stambh to Trimbak Naka will be carried out as part of the smart city project after the state power utility got funds through Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS).

    "The MSEDCL has proposed underground cable system across the city, but since it is a costly affair and the company does not have cash, it will take long time before the underground network system is in place. However we are now getting the system in place as part of the smart city project," an MSEDCL official said.

    The road from Ashok Stambh to Trimbak Naka has been dug up and the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) is carrying out the work related to the smart city project in the area.

    "The MSEDCL had planned for the underground cable network, but no work had begun. Now, since the NMC is relaying the road, we have decided to the use the opportunity to carry out the work," the official said.

    The NMC has made trenches along the road for utilities that could be power cables, the telecommunication cables, among others. The work for the construction of the trench in the section is being carried out.

    The first leg of the construction of trenches - from Meher Signal to CBS - is being carried out. "We will undertake the work as soon as the NMC allows us to do so. The power cables on the entire road will be shifted underground once the work is completed," the official said.

    It should be noted that that power cables were snapped when the excavation work for the construction of the road had begun. The commercial establishment and the residential building were without electricity for around 13 hours, before the problem was rectified.


  • Industry miffed but real estate, salaried class see some hope Tushar Pawar | TNN | Feb 2, 2019, 10:28 IST

    Representative image

    NASHIK: Hours after the Budget was announced, Manish Pagare, who works with a private firm here, had already started making calculations of the savings he will have. "Increasing the income tax rebate up to Rs 5 lakh will definitely help me. It is a good move but I will still have to file the returns," he said.

    The hike in income tax rebate brought smiles to many faces but the industrial associations found little to boost growth in their sector. "There is nothing much for the industrial sector but increasing income tax rebate to Rs 5 lakh will benefit the middle class and small entrepreneurs," said Santosh Mandlecha, state president of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA).

    Apart from infrastructure, the thrust on digital India and reducing import of petroleum products will boost automobile, electronics and agriculture sector, he added.

    B K Singh, chief executive officer of a private financial services firm, felt that the interim Budget was balanced and had a roadmap towards development. "It will definitely give a big push to investment in agriculture, small and medium enterprises and health sectors. Income tax rebate for individuals and lowering of peak tax rate is a relief to middle class families," he said.

    Umesh Wankhede, president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Nashik said that the government's decision to give tax benefits for affordable housing projects up to March 31, 2020 will boost the sector in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

    "The benefit of rollover of capital gains will be available for investment in two houses from the present one house. This is a good decision," he said.

    He added that the increase in the limit of tax exemption on income through rent of the property from Rs 1.80 lakh to Rs 2.40 lakh will boost the real estate sector. "The goods and sales tax rates on sale or purchase of the properties has not been changed but has assured that it would be taken in the GST Council," said Wankhede.

    Manish Rawal, chairman, infrastructure committee of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers' Association (NIMA), said their expectation of reduction in corporate tax from existing 30% was not met. He added that there was little for the MSMEs in the Budget.

    "It has been made mandatory for public sector units to make 25% of total procurement from the MSMEs. Earlier, this limit was 20%. This is the only relief for the SMEs, otherwise the budget has disappointed the industries," added Rawal.


  • Rampant burning of waste in Satpur division TNN | Feb 6, 2019, 12:19 IST

    Mahesh Sonje, a local resident, said garbage and waste burning was common in this part of the city.

    NASHIK: Rampant burning of waste and heaps of garbage lying across Satpur division was noted by student volunteers — belonging to a non-government organisation (Manav Utthan Manch) — during a reality check conducted by them on Monday.

    Burning of waste has been eliminated from most parts of the city but after noticing it in Satpur division, the volunteers demanded stringent vigil and action by civic officials. The volunteers also cleaned the areas where garbage was collected.

    “We requested sanitation inspector for a joint survey, but we did not get a positive response. Despite one of the senior officials asking her to conduct a joint survey she was not very keen on it,” a member of the NGO said.

    Mahesh Sonje, a local resident, said garbage and waste burning was common in this part of the city.

    “People need to be careful and should keep their premises clean. Garbage vans do ply but people have a habit of dumping waste in the open. Also, they do not understand the hazards of burning waste in the open. Even civic officials are not vigilant about such things. The offenders should be heavily penalised,” he said.

    Anil Patil, an industrial worker, said there are many places in the industrial area were heaps of garbage are collected in the open and waste burning is also rampant. “The garbage includes hotel waste and some toxic material,” he added.

    A senior NMC official said, “We will send our sanitation staff and get the spots cleaned. There is hardly any waste burning in the city now. But we will keep strict vigil and take action against offenders.”


  • NMC racing against time to meet property tax collection target Tushar Pawar | TNN | Feb 6, 2019, 12:21 IST

    Picture used for representational purpose only

    NASHIK: Like the previous three financial years, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) is apparently struggling to meet the property tax collection target in this time too.

    With less than two months remaining for the fiscal year to end, the civic body has been able to collect just Rs 96.53 crore against the revised property tax collection target of Rs 150 crore.

    The original target was Rs 253 crore but the civic administration slashed the target by Rs 103 crore following disputes related to the new properties that were identified during a survey.

    The NMC sources said the biggest impediments in meeting the targets in the last three fiscals were disputes related to properties, including legal ones, and tussles between owners and tenants. But, this year we are confident of meeting the target, they said.

    During September and October last year, the NMC had sent final notices to 1.27 lakh defaulters and 35,619 have paid their taxes fully or partially.

    “The administration has directed all divisional offices to take action against the remaining defaulters. The divisional offices are in the process of serving ultimatum of 21 days to the defaulters, asking them to pay the tax or the civic body would auction their properties,” sources said.

    The property tax department has been coming down heavily on defaulters from the beginning of the current fiscal.

    In August last year, the NMC had taken action against 120 people for not paying tax dues worth Rs 4.5 crore. While properties of two defaulters were auctioned for Rs 16.37 lakh, the administration sought approval of the standing committeefor taking possession of the remaining 118 properties at a nominal rate of Re 1.

    “The standing committee has given its approval to change ownership and record the properties in the name of the civic body. As per norms, we have to re-auction these 118 properties twice before we change the ownership,” said officials, adding that they would soon auction these properties.”

    The property tax collection till February 4 has increased by 35.76% to Rs 96.53 crore, against Rs 71.11 crore during the corresponding period last fiscal.

    The NMC has increased the tax by 18% from the current year. This led to the rise in collection, an official said.

  • Pre-construction work for Samruddhi begins Feb 7, 2019, 21:52 IST

    Earthmovers at a depot of the construction company near Shivde village

    Nashik: The pre-construction activity has begun in parts of Igatpuri and Sinnar talukas from where the Nagpur-Mumbai super communication expressway will pass.

    The district administration has acquired 89.38% land for the work in the two talukas. The area has been divided into three sections. In two sections, over 90% land has been acquired and handed over to the construction companies, who have started levelling and grubbing work.

    “We have begun our activities in Igatpuri taluka, where the land acquired by the district administration has been handed over to us. At this point, we have started the work of levelling the soil and at the same time hired the land for construction purpose,” a senior officer from Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said.

    The entire stretch of road passing through Ahmednagar and Nashik districts is 101.48 km. The stretch has been divided into three packages by the developing authority. The first is a 45.9-km stretch from Pathre in Ahmednagar to Sonar (Sinnar taluka) in Nashik district, another package is from Sonari to Taranganpada stretched across 45.39 km and the third is the 10.28 km from Taranganpada to Borli.

    “Of the three packages, the MSRDC now has more than 90% of the area under its control in two packages. There are few land parcels that are still in the process of acquisition. All the people who have shown their willingness or given consent have been given payments, but those who have still not given their consent, the MSRDC will deposit their share of payments with the court and take position of the land,” the officer said, adding, “Technically, the 60-day period of the land acquisition is not yet over.”

    The construction company has set up its work depot at the Shivde village. Meanwhile, the farmers from region have alleged that the construction work was affecting their farms.

    “We have our farms nearby. The dust rising from the areas settles on the farms affecting the grape and custard apple. We have requested the company to shift its base as this would kill our plants,” said Sunil Wagh, a local famer.

    Raosaheb Harak and Uttam Harak have similar complaints. They have even gotten a resolution from gram sabha in favour of shifting the company’s base away from the village. “We have cash crops in the village. The dust has already started settling on the crops. Besides, the roads in the vicinity are not meant for heavy vehicles. They will destroy the atmosphere here,” Raoshaheb Harak said.

    The MSRDC officers, however, said they were yet to receive any complaint on the issue and would pay due attention to any requests from the farmers in the areas.


  • Cost escalation tears down two big smart city projects Sumita Sarkar | Feb 8, 2019, 21:43 IST

    Goda ghat that would be developed under the Smart City project

    Nashik: The Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (NMSCDCL) decided to scrap tenders for two big projects due to excessive cost escalation.

    Members of the opposition in the civic body had raised questions about the cost escalation and had even written to the Prime Minister’s Office about the issue, alleging corruption in finalising bids for the Smart City projects.

    The two bids cancelled include area-based development project and Godavari riverfront development project. The area development project envisaged strengthening basic infrastructure in old city areas. The agency which won the bid quoted 60% more than the tender cost. Similarly, for the Godavari project, the contractor quoted 38% more than the tender cost.

    Civic chief Radhakrishna Game, who is also a director of NMSCDCL, held a meeting with officials on Friday and had received suggestions from bidders last week. He has decided to cancel both the tenders and bifurcate the work in these two projects. Separate tenders will be floated for each part to reduce the cost.

    “We have cancelled both the tenders. The cost quoted was very high and it is not affordable for us. We had discussed with the companies’ representatives and they suggested that if some of the works under the projects could be bifurcated, then we would receive competitive bids,” Game said.

    The cost projected in the tender for Project Goda was Rs 73.70 crore, whereas the winning bid was of Rs 102.35 crore. The cost of the area development project, as per the tender, was Rs 318.71 crore. The bidder quoted Rs 509.90 crore.

    Prakash Thavil, chief executive officer of NMSCDCL, said, “The decision to re-tender both the projects has been taken after consulting chairman Sitaram Kunte. We are working out how to bifurcate the works.”

    He said that the bidders had brought down the cost a bit. “We had told them that we can think of maximum 10% escalation and negotiate. But that did not happen. So, we will be inviting the tenders once again,” Thavil said.


  • Smart city: Nashik stands 20th in executing project Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Updated: Feb 10, 2019, 11:21 IST

    Representative image

    NASHIK: The Nashik city has been ranked 20th among the 98 cities for implementation of projects under the smart city mission.

    The rankings were released by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs on February 6. Nagpur has has bagged the top spot. Other cities in the state, except Nagpur and Pune, are placed behind Nashik in the list.

    The work on projects in Nashik started later than it started in other cities as it was hosting Simhastha Kumbh Mela in 2015-16. Nashik was selected in the second list of cities to be developed under the smart city mission. Following its selection, elected representatives of Nashik opposed the project due to mandatory formation of special purpose vehicle (SPV), in which they were excluded. Later, the general body passed a resolution that elected representatives should be included in the SPV. The SPV was formed after the receiving approval from the state government. After overcoming these hurdles, a report on smart city project was prepared and sent to the state government.

    Now, with some projects at the execution stage, some in tendering process, Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation (NMSCDC) are facing hurdles in some of the important projects like Godavari riverfront development project (Goda), which includes beautification and rejuvenation of the river and its banks, area-based development including all major and minor roads, sewerage system and 24x7 power and water supply etc. The carriageway of the first phase of pilot smart road could be completed after two extensions. The second phase is expected to be completed by March-end.

    “We got selected for smart city scheme in the second round. We are doing well considering that Kumbh Mela and civic elections delayed many things. Due to the code of conduct the consultants came on board in July 2017,” said CEO of the Corporation, Prakash Thavil.

    He further added that in execution of some of the works under the projected, land acquisition becomes a major issue. “Projects like Scada water meter, area-based development, greenfield development and Goda are bulk projects. For greenfield development, land pooling is a major problem, but that will be sorted out soon. For area-based development and Goda, the contractor quoted very high rates or else these projects would have started. Now, we have to re-tender the works. The IT project also got delayed as it was given to the directorate of IT. They are expected to start the work shortly,” Thavil said.


  • MIDC to acquire additional 200ha for new Ajang estate Tushar Pawar | Feb 11, 2019, 22:16 IST

    Nashik: The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is planning to acquire 200 hectares more for the additional industrial estate coming up at Ajang in Malegaon taluka.

    “We have acquired 345 hectare from the Maharashtra State Agriculture Development Corporation (MSADC) at a cost of Rs 35 crore and started a tender process to create infrastructure like internal roads, streetlights and water supply, said an MIDC official.

    “We are expecting that the industrial estate would be ready by December,” he added.

    “We are also planning to acquire additional 200 hectare land owned by the MSADC nearby. There is no issue of acquisition as it is a government agency,” the official said.

    This will be the second-largest industrial estate in the district. The Satpur industrial estate spread over 635.73 hectare, with 1,219 industrial plots, is the largest estate in the district.

    The Sinnar industrial estate has an area of 516.87 hectare, with 1,119 plots, while Ambad estate is spread on 515.5 hectare, with 1,608 plots.

    The MIDC has decided to reserve 20% of plots in new industrial estates for small and medium enterprises. Considering the agricultural base of the city, 20% of total space will be reserved for food processing units.

    There is huge growth potential in the district, but land is the major hurdle. But acquisition of land for new industrial areas in Malegaon, Dindori and Sinnar talukas would fuel the growth of the district, said Manish Rawal, chairman of the infrastructure committee of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers’ Association.

  • Proposal to impose tax on agriculture land shelved for now: Mayor Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Updated: Feb 12, 2019, 13:19 IST

    Representative image

    NASHIK: Scores of agriculture land owners in the city can heave a sigh of relief as Nashik Municipal Corporation on Monday announced that it would keep in abeyance a proposal to tax agriculture land. NMC also took a decision on 59,600 properties that were surveyed by a private agency and were set to come under the new tax net.

    Former civic chief Tukaram Mundhe had proposed tax on agriculture land based on rateable value that is fixed annually. Addressing the media, Mayor Ranjana Bhansi and civic chief Radhakrishna Game said the proposed tax has been kept in abeyance at present.

    The civic administration has sought guidance from the state government on definition of land. Till the government replies, the tax on agriculture will be stayed. The tax levied was 40 paise per sq m. It was later brought down to 3 paise by Mundhe.

    “At present, we are not levying any tax on lands where farming is done in any zone (yellow or green).We have stayed levying tax on such lands. We have sought guidance from the state government on definition of land. Till we get the guidance we are staying tax on agriculture lands. But if it is agriculture land and used for some other purpose, we will impose tax and fine,” Game said.

    He added that in no development zones the earlier tax rate will prevail.

    “Earlier tax was as per carpet area. In between there was discussion about charging as per built up area. Now we have decided to charge as per carpet area. In case of these 59,600 buildings, we have made three divisions,” Game said. Buildings that are being used without receiving occupancy certificate will be charged three times the tax as per the type of use and as per the residential/non-residential tax fixed for that area. Three times include regular tax plus twice the fine amount.

    For unauthorised constructions, up to 600 sq mt residential construction there will be no penal charges, for 601-1000 sq mt residential construction 50 percent of the annual property tax will be charged as fine besides charging regular property tax. For construction on more 1,000 sq ft two times of the annual tax will be charged as fine besides regular property tax. Also, tax will be imposed on parking of new buildings.

    As per DCPR it is mandatory to leave margin space. So no tax will be charged. Where there is no layout tax will not be levied but if there is layout on a plot tax will be levied. Last year the general body had resolved to entirely cancel rateable tax value that is fixed annually.

    To a question regarding this resolution Bhansi said, “We have taken the first step on tax for agriculture land. This was a major issue.” Game added, “We are going ahead with the previous decision on tax. There will be a great difference in revenue. We expect Rs 21 crore from these properties. Considering tax of all the municipal corporations, there is no need to change tax fixed here. It has not been raised for years. Our revenue comes from GST grant, town planning department, property and water tax. If we want to have infrastructuredevelopment, then we need funds as well.”


  • Row over road digging rates hits Nashik's green fuel project NMC Levies 4,500/m; It Is Exorbitant, Says MNGL
    TNN | Feb 13, 2019, 12:10 IST

    Representative image

    By: Ranjan Dasgupta

    NASHIK: The project to supply green fuel in the city undertaken by MaharashtraNatural Gas Limited (MNGL) has hit a roadblock following its inability to pay the 'exorbitant' road digging charges levied by the municipal corporation.

    Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has informed MNGL that the latter would have to shell out Rs 4,500 per metre for digging the roads in the city.

    MNGL has to dig the roads to lay underground pipes for supplying compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel stations and piped natural gas (PNG) to the households and industrial units. In the next eight years, it has to lay underground pipes in about 500 kilometre across the city for supplying both the green fuels.

    The firm has to get the approval of the civic body on a compulsory basis to dig even one metre below the surface of the road within city limits.

    "We are unable to carry out digging until this issue is addressed. NMC's digging charges is unaffordable for the company. We would have to shell out about Rs 250 crore to the civic body. Such high charges will escalate the cost of the project. We will have no option but to pass on the charges to the consumers. This will imply that CNG and PNG will be available at a higher price in the city," said sources in MNGL.

    MNGL officials argued that apart from the digging charges, it would have to spend an additional Rs 5 lakh per metre to lay the pipes, including labour cost.

    "We will use our manpower to fill up the dug up area. NMC will have to put bitumen on the part of the road that has been dug. The charges levied by the civic body are very high," said an MNGL official adding that in Pune, the civic administration had charged only Rs 2745 for digigng a metre of the road.

    The firm, a joint venture between GAIL and BPCL, has written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and district guardian minister Girish Mahajan requesting them to intervene in the issue and press upon the civic body to lower the digging charges.

    "The digging charges proposed by MIDC, PWD and various gram panchayats in Nashik are much less. MIDC has agreed to levy Rs 1000 per metre, PWD would charge Re 1/metre and the charges levied by various gram panchayats in Nashik range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per metre. As far as NMC is concerned, we cannot afford to pay beyond Rs 2,000 a metre," added a senior functionary in MNGL.

    Municipal commissioner Radhakrishna Game said that NMC would be charging not any less than Rs 4,500 a metre for digging concrete roads, which are very few in number. The rates for digging the tar roads and pavements would be much lesser.

    "I have also given the option to MNGL to fully repair all the dug up roads after laying the underground pipes so that the civic body does not have to do anything. In that case, there won't be any dispute about the road digging charges. It is for MNGL to decide what option they choose," added Game.


  • Now, over 500 villages rely on tankers Abhilash Botekar | TNN | Updated: Feb 18, 2019, 11:33 IST

    NASHIK: The numbers of villages and hamlets being fed drinking water by tankers has crossed the 500-mark. The count was reached by the middle of February.

    The total number of tankers providing water to villages and hamlets has now reached 131 tankers. On January 27, this number was at 122.

    A senior official from the district administration said the water shortage in many villages has gone from bad to worse. " The number of villages that are facing drought, and the number of tankers that will be needed to supply water to these are both expected to go up," the official said.

    “For example, Sinnar taluka has been the worst hit so far, with 33 tankers providing drinking water to a total of 185 villages and hamlets. Yeola taluka has the second highest number of tankers, providing water to 76 villages and hamlets,” the official added.

    Other areas threw up similarly high numbers.

    Baglan has 21 tankers feeding 29 villages; Nandgaon has 15 tankers for 124 villages; Deola has six tankers and Chandwad has two tankers providing water to villagers.

    Several areas in the district have experienced a noticeable dip in groundwater levels. Other sources, such as percolation tanks, have been reportedly going dry too.

    Overall, residents of seven talukas out of the district's total of 15 talukas are currently reliant on tankers for their water supply. The list of suppliers includes 110 private tankers and 21 government tankers.

    The administration expects the number of tankers to go beyond 250.

    “The number of tankers as well as the number of villages relying on tankers are expected to go up during peak summer. Arrangements will be made to ensure everyone receives water,” the officer said.

    Meanwhile, dam storage levels have dipped to 38% across the 23 major and minor dams in the district. The dams currently hold 25.25 thousand million cubic feet of water as against the 36.84 TMC or 56% storage they held during the same time last year.

    The Gangapur Dam complex, which provides water to the Nashik Municipal Corporation, currently has 58% of its stock. Last year, around the same time, it held 74% of its water.


  • Shiv Sena demands tax waiver for properties less than 500sqft, rebate Sumita Sarkar

    The Shiv Sena has demanded property tax waiver for properties up to 500 sq.ft. in the backdrop of a similar decision in Mumbai. They will also be demanding rebate for those paying property tax during April-June and those using solar energy. The party will submit a proposal in the general body meeting on Friday.
    | TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2019, 10:27 IST

    Representative image

    NASHIK: The Shiv Sena has demanded property tax waiver for properties up to 500 sq.ft. in the backdrop of a similar decision in Mumbai. They will also be demanding rebate for those paying property tax during April-June and those using solar energy. The party will submit a proposal in the general body meeting on Friday.

    During a media briefing on Wednesday evening, leader of the opposition Ajay Boraste said the chief minister approved of Sena MLA Ajay Chowdhary’s demand for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which was a major relief for the lower income groups.

    From 2015-16, the NMC was giving rebate to encourage people to pay tax in time and use solar energy but since last year it has been cancelled. Earlier, 5% rebate was given to tax payers who paid the dues in April, 3% to those who paid the dues in May and 2% to those who paid in June.

    “A proposal for both the issues was accepted by the general body earlier. But without any approval of the general body, the administration cancelled it. As a result, the NMC is not able to collect the entire property tax in April-June. Corporators and those who recover taxes are at the receiving end. So, the proposal should be approved,” Boraste said.

    Demand for additional seat in standing committee: The Shiv Sena has written to the divisional commissioner to direct the ruling BJP to appoint standing committee members as per the comparative strength of parties in the NMC. A copy of the letter has been given to the mayor for approval in the coming general body meeting.

    The BJP has 66 corporators, while the Sena has 35. In the standing committee, BJP has nine members and Sena has four. In July last year, BJP’s Sudam Nagre passed away, reducing the number ot eight.

    “Currently, 0.59% seat of BJP is vacant as per the comparative party strength and for Shiv Sena it is 0.62%. Hence one more Sena member can be appointed instead of a BJP member,” Boraste said.